Current Project – City House (Jaipur – Update 2016-2017)

A long-overdue update of the house white ant studio is building in Jaipur for a family of well-respected merchants. We’ll try and recapture the most important moments of this project which has become a big learning exercise in terms of understanding the needs of a large family and the internal dynamics when designing a multi-generational house. We also realize that the construction methods in Jaipur are far different than the ones we are used to in Chennai (maybe one could say more traditional).

However, by now the floor plans have been completely finalized, civil work is almost complete. Important decisions in regard to details such as windows, flooring etc have been taken and the work goes on – maybe not in the most efficient way but it moves.

This post will feature the up-to-date floor plans, some working drawings to show the level of detail we aim at in our communication with the local architect and contractor, some visuals…


Above: a view exploring the openings and the simplicity of the facade. It needs to be said that with the complex and rather conventional internal program (6 bedrooms with attached dressing and bathrooms, family spaces, large kitchen area, dining & living & family areas, service & utility spaces) along with a long process of Vastu approval on a restricted plot size for a traditional family makes anything experimental and maybe more contemporary a challenging negotiation between architect and the various client bodies 🙂


Above: The finalized (?) view of the building from the North East. Large openings to connect with the beautiful light of Jaipur and the views of the context, lined carefully with local Bijolia Grey stone and white plaster.


Above: The finalized floor plan for the Ground Floor area: Entrance, landscape, car park for at least four cars, service area and staff quarters, guest bedroom. In the case of larger events (marriages …), the whole ground floor should be able to cater to larger festivities.


Above: Level 01 / First Floor is meant as the main part of the house, holding together the family around the large dining and living area. The mother of the family while very senior is seen as the head of the family and thereby occupies the South West as per Vastu (This came after long discussions as we felt that the North West – while maybe not “correct” in terms of Vastu – would offer a much better space for her – mostly confined to her room – as the views and the aspects of daylight and internal connect to the living room seemed far better). The kitchen in the South East with attached wet kitchen, storage and laundry area opens to a double height dining area which in turn transitions into a large living space flooded with light and looking over a park-like area in the North East.


Above: Level 02 with the suite for the son and the large room for the two grand children with ample of family space in between and a view down to the dining area. Both suites open out to open-to-sky internal courtyards which allow light to come deep into the building.


Above: Level 03 is meant to provide for the youngest son of the aforementioned mother and his wife, the actual patrons of the house. A large bedroom, an open living room opening out onto the roof terrace garden and a meditation room. The views of the surrounding area are an added bonus and we can picture this roof area to become an important part in the life of the family heads with ample scope for gardening and maybe even food production.


Above: A typical electrical drawing marking the type of fitting, its location and the switch it connects to. This enables the electrical consultant to calculate load, prepare the single line diagram and coordinate with the executing agency.


Above: The location of each switch and plug is given in a drawing as shown here. This needs to read together with the previously posted electrical layout. These drawings form also the basis for further input such as data connections, CCTV circuits etc.


Above: The false ceiling drawing incorporates the light locations, positions of A/C units and required trap doors as well as pelmets for curtains/blinds. In general we like to keep the ceilings simple.


Above: A view from South East. In fact the neighbouring building is touching the compound wall so that all openings on the South are not really visible.



Above: Two preliminary views showing the front part of the plot kept as green space.


And to conclude this post a view of the parking area which ideally should also be able to serve as area for larger gatherings 🙂


The next post will update on actual site photographs …


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